Dear Bruce, I'm having an absolute nightmare and wondered if you might be able to offer some advice (your message on this website appears to be the only hint of someone who knows what they are talking about!) ... my boyfriend and I have recently bought a house built in 1926 that has had 2 owners (previous owner has lived here for 30 years) we have started stripping the staircase back to the bare wood (with a heat gun then scraping and sanding off the remaining varnish with an orbital sander, and for the first few days without a mask !) We were recently warned about the dangers of lead paint, which we were completely ignorant of up till now. So we bought a lead-based paint testing kit from a local Crown Paint trade centre which didn't work ! (the entire batch was subsequently found to be faulty and I am still awaiting a supposedly 'tested' kit from the maufacturer) in the meantime we have removed the kitchen cupboard doors and tried stipping the paint at the end of the garden ! with a 24 hour 'Nitromors' product.(totally unsuccessful) My question before I bore you to death with my various escapades and disastrous D.I.Y efforts is: "If you've got it, how do you get rid of it?" I've already convinced myself that i've contaminated the entire house and will die a slow a horrible death ..... please please write back. Yours desperately, Mel M.